Mets will give D.J. Carrasco a chance to earn rotation spot

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When the Mets signed D.J. Carrasco to a two-year, $2.5 million deal earlier this month the assumption was that they’d use him as a middle reliever, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that he’ll likely be given a chance to claim a rotation spot in spring training.

Carrasco has experience as a starter in both the majors and minors, but he really found significant success in the big leagues only after shifting to the bullpen full time in 2008. For his career Carrasco is 5-8 with a 5.01 ERA in 23 starts compared to 18-10 with a 4.03 ERA in 221 relief appearances.

His role will ultimately depend on whether the Mets are able to sign a low-cost veteran starter or two from what’s left on the free agent market and Carrasco’s versatility gives them an additional option, but keeping the 34-year-old right-hander in a bullpen role would probably be the right decision.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.